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Dear Mr. Santis,
As you may remember, I interned in the Covenant to Care office for a couple months back in the summer of 2008, while I was a college student who had returned to CT for the summer. I just wanted to let you know that I plan to begin the Boston Teacher Residency program to teach high school math in Boston Public Schools this July. I want to thank you and the rest of the CCC staff for exposing me to the inequalities experienced by our urban youth and for leading me to consider a career dedicated to solving these problems. Since graduating from college two years ago, I have been working at a high school in Boston through a service program called City Year, which provides in-school tutoring and mentoring to students across the city.
I still remember taking Charlie’s delivery truck to a home in Hartford and, as a middle-class suburban kid, being struck by the challenging conditions at the home we were visiting. I admire CCC’s mission of ensuring that the children and families of Connecticut have the resources they need to be happy, healthy, and successful.
Please send Caryl, Rich, Charlie, and the rest of the office my best. Hope all is well!
I wanted to write to thank your organization so much for all they have done for the children involved in the Manchester DCF office. Due to the generosity of the churches who donated gifts to the children, many families who would not have had anything special to mark the holidays with, were able to have a season filled with joy and peace. Children were able to feel special and cared about. Through Covenant to Care, and the churches and organizations who made donations, children who live in environments of abuse, neglect, poverty, and other reasons the families are involved with DCF were able to feel as though they were “children”. The donations showed to DCF social workers, and the organization as a whole, as well as the recipients of the gifts miracles can occur and there is still so much good in the world.
Thanks again for all your hard work and efforts to make the donation program such a big success. Thanks to all the donators who truly brought the holiday spirit to life for so many of the children DCF services.
DCF Social Work Supervisor
Thank-you again for your support of Klingberg (not just your letter – but all that Covenant to Care does for our Families and our Social Workers).
Klingberg Family Centers
Once again we at DANBURY DCF want to thank your organization for all the help we get.
Hi Catherine. I just wanted to say thank you for the gift cards you gave me on Monday. The Social Workers for the teens were so thrilled. This will make a huge difference in the lives of these kids–something as simple as a sweatshirt or a new pair of jeans can change the way they view themselves. Most of them don’t have any nice things, and few new clothing items.
I gave the Subway cards and Dunkin Donuts card to a co-worker who does a lot of supervised visits. Often she does Winter visits at dinner with a child, and although the Social Worker gets reimbursed for the meal for the child, the parent has to come up with their own money, or it comes out of the Social Worker’s pocket. These gift cards will allow a needy parent to have dinner with their child. I thought this was the best use of the money.
Thank you again for your donations of backpacks and school supplies. Those donations impacted at least 30 children in crisis in Windham County. Additionally, your special request donations of the $60 for the video game for the child in residential care with no family and the $230 for the family of 5 who lost their oldest child in a car accident.
Your generosity and charity are deeply appreciated. Below is a letter that we received from the family of 5. Please share this with the congregation:
I’d like to thank the Hill Church community for the gift cards given to my family in this time of sorrow and necessity. May God pour all His blessing upon all of us, may He keep us all in charity and love.
Thank you ever so much,
In late March my mom and I had the pleasure of attending a Covenant to Care function at the Southport Gallery. The event was a reception for youth involved in this year’s Discovered Spirit Project. It was a rare opportunity for my mom and I, and others in attendance, to meet different children who are served by Covenant to Care.
We stepped into the small, yet quaint, gallery in downtown Southport unprepared for what we would see. We saw masks. Beautiful masks that expressed a child’s life.
Children have a difficult time expressing their feelings with words, especially when they face hardships like divorce, grief, violence, abuse, neglect or poverty. The children covered under Covenant to Care were given a blank mask and different materials to create a mask based on their feelings. Suddenly, children who never had a voice were given one. They were able to express themselves in a visual way, giving them empowerment. The children in attendance were so proud of their masks; they were quick to show off their masterpiece and eager to take pictures with it.
Living in a world where children often feel “faceless,” there was suddenly a face to go along with the child. Each child involved created three masks that were meant to tell the world about their lives using the theme “past, present and future”. They were so moving, each one telling a story that touched my mom and I. I am grateful that we were given the opportunity to attend this event, for it truly impacted my life for the better.
SHU Graduate Education Student ’10
The following story is from a publication by The Parish of Trinity Episcopal Church in Southport called “Stories of G-d, A Lenten Journey for 2012.” It was submitted by CCC Liaison, Patty Ford. Patty also assembled spring baskets from a collection from her congregation. The baskets were given to Bridgeport DCF social worker Vanessa Torres, mentioned in the story below, for distribution to children.
Patty Ford with spring baskets.
Through my outreach commitment at Trinity, I have had several “G-d in my life” experiences. One of the more poignant instances occurred two Thanksgivings ago when the Church collected turkeys for 13 families. I asked our social worker, Vanessa, if I could meet some of the clients that she cares for. Due to privacy issues this was a gray area. Her supervisor was surprised that I wanted to spend time in some of the most economically challenged and crime-ridden neighborhoods in the City of Bridgeport. Vanessa explained that I was an “up front and personal” kind of person and would take full responsibility. Permission was granted.
On the day of shopping for the food at a local ethnic market in north Bridgeport, I had a sense that I was in for an experience that I hadn’t been privy to before. Walking into the market was an eye opener in itself. Where was the cranberry sauce? The stuffing mix? What I saw before me instead was a plethora of brightly colored and uniquely shaped vegetables from all over the world. It was G-d’s palette at work. We finished shopping for the families, divided the food into 52 bags and off we went to meet the available families. Yes, there was significant poverty and lack of manicured lawns but there was love and gratitude and blessings. We were welcomed into each home with open arms and smiling faces. G-d had decided that my best purpose was to serve others in this arena.
At one of our last stops we were greeted by a bright-eyed, dark haired, eight year old boy named Angel. Angel greeted us at the door barely able to contain his excitement and with the classic innocence of the young, looked up and saw two large bottles of soda, one 12 pound turkey and three relatively small shopping bags of vegetables and dry goods. He said, “Wow! Look at all of that food! Thank you!” Of all the volunteerism that I have done, this was the moment that it all gelled. Angel showed me that even the simplest of acts can make a huge difference in another person’s life.
I’ve told this story to several people over the past two years. I always point out that G-d knows exactly what He’s doing…he introduced me to a little boy named Angel. I believe that there are angels amongst us and I do believe I met mine.